This thread was brought here from this post to make things more readable.
“Hmm. If that’s the case, a few more questions:
1. What do you think about empiricism?
2. What is your current opinion of god?
3. What would you call solid proof?”
Sorry, I was procrastinating over your question for a while.,
It’s cool, I know the feeling. You should see some of my emails. And the dates I respond to them by.
1. I’m not exactly sure whether I agree with empiricism or not as I do not exactly know what it encompasses.
You can find a good definition at Wikipedia – see the entry. Basically, it’s the idea that knowledge is gained through experience alone, vs. being gained through rationalism. You could say that creation vs. evolution is something of a throwback to these ideas, where creationism might relate more to empiricism (God exists because of the testimony of others) and evolution might relate more to rationalism (scientific method).
I do not agree with what jeannie49 said about faith, where she applied it to having faith whether a computer works or not. I believe that you know if a computer works from past experience.
This is actually an empiricist view of how a computer works.
The first time you turn it on, you find that it works, and hence you assume that the next time you do so, it will work again as nothing in your knowledge has changed inside the computer. If it does not work, then you realise that something has changed/was broken and you get someone to fix it.
I do not see how faith is involved in that.
Actually, faith is totally involved in it. Unless you’re a computer engineer or technician who both knows the theory behind the workings of a computer and has built the computer himself out of parts he has made personally, it would be impossible to say that faith wasn’t involved in at least a minute part of the process.
Even so, he must have faith in whomever sold the materials to him to be as stated. So faith becomes a part of the process regardless of theoretical knowledge and prior experience.
The example could have been a little bit better, but I think Jeannie sums it up pretty well:
Faith is being almost certain of something.
Knowing is being 100% certain of a thing.
Faith is knowing but with doubt, however small or large.
Back to empiricism, I think that it is very hard to adhere to something like this. For example if you see a news report on TV, with someone talking about something not absurd, if you hear it from enough sources you may start to believe it, because you logically feel, from past experience, I guess, that something like this had every possibility of happening. So perhaps experience is involved in you believing that something, which you hear on TV.
However, I feel that many people would believe almost anything they are told a priori and hence propaganda is known to work throughout modern history.
Your TV example is a better example of rationalism (a priori knowledge) rather than empiricism – the idea of people believing propaganda has more to do with examination of facts vs. belief of opinions.
2. My current opinion about god is that I feel that the idea is absurd, and that it was made up by humans to control others and their hip pockets with the notion of “hell” and punishment for not doing exactly what “god” says. I feel that this idea evolved though, to give people comfort outside their miserable, meaningless existence.
Interesting. I was under the general idea that secularists were under the notion that ideas of god were more the lack of knowledge they possessed, leading them to believe god was the result of natural and sociopolitical phenomena, not to control populations for political ends (although your example has clearly become the norm).
I don’t see where you get your latter sentence unless you’re qualifying it as a hypothesis of your own (drawn on what seems an empiricist bias).
3. Solid proof would involve a combination of empirical evidence and confirmation of this proof by others. It would require god to show himself to everyone, and prove that he is god by performing an absurd, never before witnessed act, while under this veil of god. If he is god, I am sure he knows of a way to get people to believe in him.
Hmm. So, your criteria for proof is based entirely on empiricism to determine God’s existence.
Do you think that(empiricism only)’s good criteria?